‘Smoking cigarettes is a doorway towards drugs’  

ISLAMABAD – Speakers on Saturday stressing the government to take measures to curb the drug use amongst youth said that smoking in early 20s creates changes in the brain and body that can make young people more apt to experiment with other addictive substances. Society for Protection of Rights of the Child (SPARC), Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH) and Chromatic Trust held a briefing session on International Day against Drug abuse and illicit trafficking at National Press Club Islamabad on Saturday.

The day is celebrated to eliminate drug misuse and address the structural causes that fuel the illegal drug trade. Khalil Ahmed, Program Manager, SPARC said smoking cigarettes is a doorway towards drugs. Already, in Pakistan the number of smokers has reached up to 29 million with 1200 children who start smoking every day. It is a gateway that creates changes in the brain that make a young adult more vulnerable to the effects of other drugs.

Anti-tobacco activists expressed disappointment at the government’s decision of not increasing the taxation on tobacco products in the federal annual budget 2021-22. Heavy taxation on tobacco products will not only reduce the tobacco consumption and its accessibility but will also keep the minors away from tobacco.


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